On Friday, Ilya Kolmanovsky, who is straight, stood outside
Russia’s lower house of parliament to protest an anti-gay bill. He
avoided arrest, but on Monday, when he went to the school where he
teaches ninth-grade biology, he was fired.
While many countries, including the United States, are fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation,
Russia seems intent on intensifying it. On Friday, as Kolmanovsky stood
in the freezing cold, the state Duma passed the first reading of a bill
prohibiting distribution of “gay propaganda” to minors, which opponents
fear would make gay pride marches, demonstrations for gay rights and
public displays of affection by same-sex couples illegal. Moscow already bans gay pride parades on the grounds that they might set off public disorder.
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